In a previous post, I talked to you guys about Chinese wedding traditions that we’ll be including in the wedding. I also talked about the Chinese tea ceremony and its importance (and I may have overused the Jared Leto GIF, just a bit).
In this post, I’ll talk about the “Western” wedding traditions that we’ll have at the wedding.
Unlike the Chinese traditions, we’ll only have a few key Western traditions for our wedding. Mr. Big’s parents are too traditional and Mumma/MIL Bighorn doesn’t have any Dutch traditions that she wanted us doing.
This post isn’t necessarily for those wanting to know about Western traditions, but more for those interested in knowing, as these traditions are pretty common in Western weddings.
The “It’s Bad Luck for the Groom to See the Bride Before the Ceremony” Tradition
This is a quintessentially Western tradition and originated during the time when arranged marriages were common.
If someone were to ask me “What’s your fashion style?” I would probably say “sparkly and sexy.” I like big earrings & lots of sparkle, and a V-neck top has never done me wrong. When it came to choosing my wedding jewelry, however, I went for understated and simple because I thought that it looked more “bridal.” I don’t know how I got to this conclusion, but I think I had become influenced by pictures of what I found in wedding magazines rather than focusing on my own personal style.
This weekend, while Mr. G wasn’t at home, I tried on my wedding dress and all of my accessories. Why? Because I love trying on my wedding dress and looking at myself in the mirror. (Do any other brides do this or am I just obsessed?) My dress was just as beautiful as the day I tried it on, but I felt that something just wasn’t right—it was the wedding jewelry, or lack of. I had decided to not wear a necklace and leave the focus on my sweetheart neckline. I thought the simple styling would make me look young and fresh.
Looking in the mirror this weekend, I realized that I had made a bad decision. I just looked plain and not at all like the sparkly jewelry wearing girl that I am. I really needed to add some bling to my attire! I still wanted to look bridal, but I also wanted to look like myself. I started looking online for crystal statement necklaces that I thought would add a nice “wow” factor to my wedding attire and complement my neckline. I narrowed it down to three options.
I love how bright and shiny this necklace is. / Photo from Etsy shop BijouxandCouture
It was kind of a dreary weekend in New England. Sticky and hot, but cloudy. Usually I’d be bummed about the gray skies, but this time it ended up being a good deterrent from outdoor fun and gave me an excuse to stay inside, watch terrible E! movies (Like He’s Just Not that Into You and The Lake House), and just craft craft craft.
Wise words from He’s Just Not that Into You (I saw this three times in the theater, no joke.)
Mr. Rucksack locked himself in the air conditioned guest room to do some work, and I got down to business taking over the entire downstairs with wedding projects I’ve been putting off. And when I say the entire downstairs, I mean it. The office/craft room exploded into a cloud of paper scraps as I used my Silhouette to cut out gold letters for our table signs. The dining room became hot glue gun central. And the living room was jewelry making station.
Recently, I was chatting with Nana about my “somethings” and mentioned to her that I needed a something old.
“What about me? I’m old.”
“What, it’s true!”
When I was a little girl, I used to love going through all of Nana’s costume jewelry and trying on her seemingly endless collection of earrings, necklaces, rings, and hair pins.
Oh, that reminds me! Came across this gem a while ago…
What even…? / Personal photo
There were so many schemes we could have gone with for our little beach wedding. We considered red, white, and blue. Or even a play on red, white, and blue with Nantucket red and blue & white seersucker. Then we thought about doing the classic sea glass scheme with greens, blues, and white. I even briefly considered going with natural with white and tan. But it didn’t take too long to settle on navy, pink, and gold. After we had our initial colors down, I started playing with PowerPoint and Photoshop—creating tablescapes with different design pieces and elements. But as much as I played, I couldn’t get it quite right. That’s when I realized we needed to add another color.
Every time I imagined my personal bridal style, I pictured myself adorned in gold, pink, and aqua/mint jewelry. Something like these babies:
Image via Etsy seller Julianne Blumlo
It seemed only natural to add aqua mint to the mix. So we now have this lovely color scheme:
I’ve always loved Art Deco jewelry—clean lines, beautifully symmetrical stones, and basic designs that don’t overwhelm.
Image via Antique Jewelry Mall
Although my dress is a tad romantic for the Art Deco genre, I plan on sneaking in some Art Deco jewelry as a nod to my love of the Deco. I’m thinking a multi-layer pearl necklace with an Art Deco clasp somewhat like this:
I am a jewelry-holic. It’s true, and it’s a problem. I especially love necklaces. The bigger, the better. Here is some photographic proof:
Personal Photo / Go Apps!
This contest is closed. Congrats to our winners!
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While James, our photographer, was out taking photos with the guys, I was busy inside the parlor of the church getting ready for the ceremony.
Like I said before, we didn’t really get many photos of me and my girls “getting ready,” which was totally my fault for being so behind schedule. James did run into the parlor after I had done my hair and makeup to snap a few photos of me before I put on my dress, though.
Here I am writing my love letter to Mr. A. This is kind of funny, because I had been bugging/reminding him to write his all week, and I ended up waiting until the last possible minute to write mine! Typical Mrs. A behavior, right there.
I wore the Plum Pretty Sugar robe Mr. A got me for Valentine’s Day while I was getting ready, and I’m so glad James was able to capture a few pictures of me in it! And although I had only about an hour and a half to get my hair and makeup done, I didn’t really feel rushed at all. The only snafu was realizing I had not brought the eyelash glue for my falsies, so BM Dancer ran to the nearest CVS to pick some up for me. Aside from that, the whole getting ready process was golden, and I was so glad I decided to DIY my hair and makeup. Being able to concentrate on something so familiar and routine for me like putting on my makeup really took away a huge chunk of the stress I had been feeling. And the DIY makeup trials I had done before were completely irrelevant by the time our day rolled around. I simply did a heavier version of my everyday makeup with liquid liner and false eyelashes. Badabing, badaboom. Done and done.
Accessories. If there is one thing I really need to work on, it’s my ability to accessorize.
I sometimes look at girls who walk around in their fabulous outfits and think “Howwww do they do that?! They look so amazing!” and I would realise that not only are they wearing “outfits” (as opposed to “just clothes” that I throw on every morning when I’m in a rush to get to work), but their accessories are perfectly coordinated and make the whole thing look “just right.”
Clearly, I will need to wear some jewellery on my wedding day. I had initially thought about wearing the red heart Swarovski necklace Jack bought me for Christmas last year, but as the neckline on my dress is pretty high and has enough detail already, I won’t be.
When I first met Jack, I had loads of piercings, and the majority of those were in my ears. I had a rook (top one—left photo), a tragus (middle one—left photo), an orbital (the hoop on the right photo—my absolute fave), and five lobe piercings.
All photos personal
This giveaway is closed. Congrats to our winner #92 Elizabeth HobbyLobbyist!
We’ve got a great giveaway for the hive today! 1928 Jewelry has been creating affordable, antique-inspired jewelry for the vintage loving gal for over 40 years. As 1928 marked “the year of opulence,” each piece they design lives up to the standard ultimate opulence—incorporating mostly Czech, Swarovski, or Austrian crystals for a sparkle that’s out-of-this-world.
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The store where I bought my dress, Vocelles, had a trunk show one weekend featuring jewelry and accessories from Haute Bride. I picked Bridesmaid BOC up on a rainy afternoon and we headed to our appointment. On the way I told her what I was looking for—a small dangly earring that was possibly sapphire. We arrived and were greeted by so much beautiful jewelry…
There were so many options! Above is only a sampling of the large selection we got to look at (and try on!). There was one pair that immediately caught my eye, an oval sapphire stone with a clear crystal halo.
I had my second dress fitting recently, and so far all is good! Bridesmaid A came along with me for squeeing, moral support, and photo-taking (thanks, boo!). It had been nearly three months since my first fitting, so it was exciting to see the dress again and what changes had been made. Because I’m on the shorter side, the seamstress had previously cut a lot from the bottom of the dress during the first fitting. This time around, the bottom had been hemmed and looked brand new. As for the bodice, there still needs to be a few inches taken in on both sides as well as right above my hips (thank you, MyFitnessPal and P90X!), which I think will be finished in time for my third fitting next week.
For this second fitting I had all the same accessories I brought along the first time, with the addition of my wedding-day jewelry from Etsy (delivered one day before the fitting). I had this necklace and these earrings favorited on Etsy for MONTHS—I knew I had to have them when I initially read the words “vintage” and “peacock” in the description. So I finally decided to pull the trigger a few weeks ago…and I absolutely love them!!
Image via Etsy shop Azure Treasures
During the not one, not two, but three times I went to try on my dress while I was contemplating the purchase, the consultants at I Do Too were happy to “jack me up,” as they say, with the outrageously overpriced accessory stash they had in the store.
Back up—I should say they were overpriced for my budget. Yes, I will admit to dropping $300 on a pair of shoes, but I wasn’t able to spend that much (or more) on jewelry or a headpiece for the big day. It was hard to resist—I definitely fell in love with several of the pieces the consultants at I Do Too showed me. But in the end, they were still above what I was comfortable spending. So, I did what any thrifty bride would do—I turned to Etsy!
First, I found a pair of pink pearl earrings from an Etsy shop called Twisted Silver Design. Because my dress is fairly simple, I wanted to echo that simplicity in my jewelry. These fit the bill perfectly.
Image via Twisted Silver Design on Etsy
Hive, I am having a necklace dilemma.
I love large (slightly obnoxious) jewelry. I have been on the statement necklace bandwagon since I was about 14. I love to wear a basic outfit with a bold pop of jewelry. Also, one of the perks of having a small chest is that I can rock long, chunky necklaces to my heart’s desire.
When it came to planning my bridal look, of course, I was all about the dress. I wanted the dress to be gorgeous and classic. And thankfully, it is turning out the be absolutely beautiful. (I am having it custom made.) So here is the problem: I have no idea how to incorporate jewelry. I want to find pieces that reflect my personality, but I don’t want to draw attention away from the dress. The neckline of the dress is rather dramatic and, realistically, I should probably just nix a necklace altogether. But deep in my heart of hearts I have to make sure I absolutely can’t make it work. Yes, I could wear bold earrings instead, but it just doesn’t feel the same.
Here are a few contenders:
1. Paro Necklace by St Erasmus
Image via St. Erasmus